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  1. To make life easy for everyone, I have edited this first post to include all the important things about my FPGA videogame system (the Zimba 3000, called the Z3K from here on) and the Analogue Nt mini since it is using my cores that will also appear on the Z3K. What is the Zimba 3000? The Zimba 3000 is the name of my FPGA videogame system. It will support various 8 bit and 16 bit videogame and computer systems. Right now, I am in the design and development stage on it. I am going to be slammed with contract work in a month or two (as of March 2017) so it will be a little while before I can complete development of it, but work is not going to totally stop. See below for my original post to this thread that explains it more in-depth. Analogue Nt mini As most of you know by now, I designed the PCB and wrote the software in the Analogue Nt mini. This is an FPGA NES/Famicom with HDMI and RGB/composite/s-video/component out. I have since released "jailbroken" firmware that allows you to run ALL of my FPGA cores to date. These are mostly 8-bit cores right now but it is possible I can do some light 16 bit cores in the future. It currently supports the following: NES/Famicom Sega Master System Game Gear Colecovision Gameboy Gameboy Color Atari 2600 Atari 7800 Supervision Gamate Game King Channel F Arcadia 2001 Creativision Adventure Vision Videobrain Odyssey^2 RCA Studio 2 The following are in the process of being ported: Intellivision SPC Player Unfortunately the mandelbrot zoomer cannot be ported due to a lack of multipliers. Download the Latest Jailbroken Firmware Here: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB2.0.zip Related links for the Nt DF Retro Hardware did a good overview of how to perform the jailbreak: https://youtu.be/BR5MZh-AYVs?t=1025 Analogue Support Page: https://support.analogue.co/hc/en-us Overview of FPGA Video Game System Cores I have a text file here that describes the current systems implemented: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/systems_V110.txt How to Jailbreak the Nt mini 1. Format your SD card FAT32 2. Unzip the firmware file onto the card, keeping the directories contained within 3. Load your desired ROMs into the proper directories (i.e. NES games go in /NES/) 4. Plug the SD card into the Nt mini 5. Power on the Nt mini and wait 3 minutes while the update occurs (led will flash red) 6. You will know this worked because the menu (default DOWN+SELECT) now sports skulls and crossbones Upgrading the already Jailbroken Nt mini Firmware 1. Replace the entire /SYSTEM/ directory and its contents (the cores live here) 2. Add the new directories 3. Replace the firmware .bin in the root directory with the new one 4. You need to add the BIOS files for the various systems as indicated by the text file in the /BIOS/ directory 5. Plug the SD card into the Nt mini 6. Power on the Nt mini and wait 3 minutes while the update occurs (led will flash red) Core File Menu Controls Up/Down: Selects a file. Left/Right: Page through files, 16 at a time. B: Can be set to take you to the top/bottom of a file list, do nothing, or go back 1 level in the directory structure. Y: Run the game. Start: Enter the settings menu. This is slightly different from the main menu. There is now as "core" settings menu. Everything core specific will be found here. Select: Exit the menu. You will be asked to confirm. If you confirm, it returns to the core select menu. If you do not wish to exit, it returns to the currently running game. Backing up your NES & Famicom Cartridges with copyNES Mini 1. Insert the game in question into the cartridge slot. 2. Select 'Run Cartridge' to make sure it works and is making good contact. 3. Re-enter the menu and select "Copynes mini". 4. Select the mapper that your game uses. See here for a decent list of game vs. mapper: http://tuxnes.sourceforge.net/nesmapper.txt. 5. Hit Y (or A if using the original NES controller) to start the backup. Note that it might take awhile (30 seconds) to determine the size of the ROMs on the cartridge.After the game is backed up, you can enter a filename using up/down./left/right. If no name is entered, it will save it with a filename determined by the sumcheck of the ROM. 6. Press Y (or A if using the original NES controller) to save the backup ROM. Jailbreak Firmware Releases & Notes as of 3/31/2017 JB V2.0 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/?p=3731480 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB2.0.zip Added the Adventurevision core. Added the Videobrain core. Added the Studio 2 core. JB v1.9 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/?p=3726104 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.9.zip Added the Osyssey^2 core. JB v1.8 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/?p=3721674 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.8.zip Fixed DC offset on the audio, causing certain monitors to produce no sound ever, or until a game was started and certain SFX played, etc Fixed the crackling/static issue that appears on games such as solstice Minor fix to audio scaler that probably wasn't audible, but was wrong anyways Fixed the "wigglin' scalers" issue. This was a debug I left in. oops Moved mapper 124 on the NES core to the second NES core due to running out of room Added ability to change highlight text colour in the menus. I cannot add it to NES composite s/vid due to space (but it works on other cores) Added "low lag" controller reading to all cores. (the controller is polled right before vblank to minimize lag) Rebuilt all cores to implement that above fixes/changes Added Famicom Network HVC-051 controller to Coleco core Added Famicom Network HVC-051 controller to Arcadia 2001 core JB v1.7 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/?p=3720849 Download:http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.7.zip Arcadia 2001 core added Channel F core added Added the Creativision core added Fixed the 7800 composite/s-vid outputs to produce proper carrier JB v1.6 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/?p=3716454 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.6.zip Fixed saving video width setting JB v1.5 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/?p=3715370 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.5.zip Atari 7800 core added Each core will now save 1080p height selection (4x, 4.5x, 5x) Each core will now save its X width and offset Added a new scaler for 7800 since it is 320 pixels wide Retooled scaling calculations to accommodate systems wider than 256 pixels JB v1.4 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/?p=3710033 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.4.zip Game King core added Gamate core added Supervision core added JB v1.3 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/page-59?do=findComment&comment=3704550 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.3.zip Atari 2600 core added Fixed NES Mapper 163 so pokemon yellow now works Fixed NES audio pitch sweep JB v1.2 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/page-52?do=findComment&comment=3698659 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.2.zip Gameboy core added Gameboy Color core added JB v1.1 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/page-46?do=findComment&comment=3693821 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.1.zip Added SMS and GG save RAM saving functionality Fixed SMS/GG save RAM functionality File browser will not display .SAV files in the sms/gg/coleco cores Retooled the button options and made a new unified "Menu Button Mapping" entry Fixed the B button setting so it works now Fixed LED issue on core swap Made LED default to white and changed menus to reflect this. If you want it fixed you select a pattern speed of 0 now Removed GG bezel graphics JB v1.0 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/page-45?do=findComment&comment=3693098 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB1.0.zip SG-1000 core added (place your games under /SMS for this) Sega Master System core added (with FM support) Game Gear core added Colecovision core added Fixed MMC5 square channels 2x too high in pitch Fixed Holy Diver mapper mirroring (be sure to set NES2.0 submapper to 3) Fixed Crime Busters mapper Fixed "Hang on boot" for v0.9 JB v0.9 http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242970-fpga-based-videogame-system/page-42?do=findComment&comment=3687219 Download: http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/ntm_firmware_verJB0.9.zip NES core added (support for over 200 NES mappers) Original post Welll, some people seemed interested in my FPGA Videogame doodad that I presented in the RVGS thread and it was suggested I make a post about it, how it works, and what it does. I still don't have immediate plans for selling it, but if there's enough interest, that could change. I will attempt to explain what it is, how it works, and what a sellable version of it would entail, so let's go! First off, nearly ANYTHING is possible. The main problem is going to be how much money people will be willing to pay, and how long they will want to wait for it to be finished. A target price of around $250 is probably going to be a reasonable value, but ideally I'd love to be able to do it for $200ish. What I have right now: At this point in time, I have 17 system cores complete, and pretty much ready to go. This means that the core is done and runs all the games I can throw at it flawlessly. I have spent a lot of time debugging and testing these cores to make sure they are the highest possible quality and completeness. Yes, I spent the time to run every single game available to me on them- many many many times to make sure any changes I made didn't break something. To obtain the absolute highest level of quality and compatibility, I have made special test fixtures, hardware, and test ROMs for every system, and used my 200 channel logic analyzer to inspect exactly what goes on to get exact cycle accuracy on everything. Developing a new 8 bit level core takes around 1-3 months of work depending on how complicated it is. Sometimes it was even faster than this, and sometimes longer. I figure I could get SNES or Genesis going in a 4-6 month time frame and maybe a few more months to debug it to a decent level of operation. There have been several hardware prototypes created up to this point to develop and test my cores and other related things, and I now have full command of the HDMI interface at 1080p/60fps. I have moved onto HDMI now as my interface of choice due to the high quality of today's flat panel monitors and TVs. Analog is still possible, and I can support this too. I still think that some kind of add-on for analog will be the best way to go instead of integrated it into the system due to the cost of the video DACs ($4-5 each) and the connectors ($1 or more each in some cases). By leaving off analog, I can save probably $40-50 by eliminating all the chips and hardware for them. The other option is simply to get rid of analog all together and not support it at all. Would many people be sad to see analog go? Personally I wouldn't, but this is not really my decision- I want to make something the USERS would like. Right now, I am playing games by loading ROMs in through a computer interface for debug, but ideally they would be loaded off of SD cards. I like the idea of cartridge adapters, but the problem with them is making the plastic enclosure for it. Making the adapters themselves is fairly straight forward and easy, and the games would literally be running off the cartridge itself- it would NOT be just another Retron 5 that just dumps the game and plays it- it would actually RUN the actual cart so Powerpaks/Everdrives/etc would still work. Ideally if you can stuff it into an existing system and have it work, I want it to work for sure on my adapters too. I don't know how much these adapters would cost. They would each consist of a cartridge connector, a system connector, and probably level translation logic and maybe a few other minor things. Figure a $20-30 parts cost. So maybe a $40-50 retailish range. Adding more than 1 cartridge port to the adapter would save money, and maybe be a $5-10 cost adder vs. singles. I have been using PCIe connectors because they are cheap, durable, and extremely commodity, which means there's 10 or 20 companies making them. This will stop it going obsolete any time soon, and keeps the price in the basement. All good things for this. The current "high end" board I have designed and manufactured looks like this: (3D render) (main board + analog board, front view) (main board + analog board, back view) There's no less than TWO FPGAs on this board- one was meant to do all the system simulation/emulation, and the other was meant to handle video scaling, SD card access, etc. I ended up not stuffing the boards because I learned a lot about HDMI during the HDMI NES adapter project, and wanted to apply what I learned. This will basically lead to lower costs and more functionality vs. what I have already created on this existing board. All the parts are bought and sitting here in a box, along with solder stencils, etc. but I think holding off and redesigning the board is the best option. I may still stuff parts of the board for testing, however. Right now, my idea to package this thing was to use the laser cutter I have at work and make acrylic laser cut packaging instead of a professional injection mold, but if 1000ish people were on board, I could most likely go for a proper job injection mold to house it. System specs that a proposed system would have: * SD card for storing ROMs/save games/FPGA configurations * Quad RAM busses to allow up to neogeo level systems * Enhanced video scaling (see my HDMI NES project for a taste of my HDMI capabilities) * 49K logic element FPGA * Quad USB ports for controllers/mice/etc Most likely HID only * HDMI video/audio, 1080p and 48KHz audio standard * Port to allow plugging in cartridge adapters * Maybe one or two built in ports for i.e. NES or SNES or similar * 256Mbytes of RAM The existing board has all of the above except cart ports, and a few more things like ethernet which I would strip off. Here's a youtube playlist showing off most of my FPGA videogame cores to date: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzIL4C5OsJVtsCIy482JxhbFNLXMYLKdH And a list: * Sega Master System * Game Gear * Colecovision * NES/Famicom * Atari 2600 * Atari 7800 * Intellivision * Odyssey^2 * Adventure Vision * Supervision * RCA Studio 2 * Fairchild Channel F * Videobrain * Arcadia 2001 * Creativision * Gameboy * Gameboy Color (not 100% yet, still debugging. runs 99% of games so far) nonvideogame things: * SPC player (SNES music) * Mandelbrot realtime zoom/pan/julia None of the cores are bare bones, either. The 2600 core for example supports Pitfall 2, Atarivox, Supercharger demo unit, Supercharger proper, and all mappers. The Intv and Odyssey^2 ones have the speech add-ons, and the NES core supports all expansion audio chips and all mappers. And that's about it. If there's any questions lemme know and I will try to answer 'em.
  2. As I promised in another thread, here are some details of a project I'm working on. I hope it will be of interest. I studied microprocessor design at University some 10-15 years ago. Since I work as a software developer I have never had a chance to put it into practice. Now an opportunity has presented itself since I'm on gardening leave from work for 6 months! I decided to spend much of this time learning about hardware by building a new Atari 8-bit computer. I'm doing the development for now on an Altirra DE1 FPGA board. An FPGA is basically re-configurable hardware. A special chip with a bunch of logic gates that can be connected any how. Used usually for prototyping new hardware, with lower cost than actually creating an ASIC. They are also used on Atari for a few things - e.g. VBXE and the recently discussed accelerator board. My development is done in VHDL. This is a hardware description language. It can be written very low level, i.e. this logic gate connects to this. It can also be written as a slightly higher level behavioral description. Which is simpler but leads to slower hardware. It is easier to understand and I've mostly written (register aware) behavioral code for now - later we can write faster implementations if we need to! Or even base the logic on the de-cap projects for more accuracy. The current status is: i) Basic runs, including all non-gtia modes. ii) SIO working, so I can boot via SIO2PC. iii) Self test runs. iv) Much software 'almost' runs. I think a few big issues will fix 80% and the rest will be harder... A little more detail on the chip status: i) Pokey. All sound features including 2-tone. I'm doing non-linear mixing in hardware for now, though we could use an equivalent analog circuit for more accuracy. SIO working. Interrupts working though I need to verify correct timing. Keyboard support via PS2 port. I plan to later add support for the XEGS keyboards. ii) Antic. All modes and correct DMA/(fake) refresh timing/PMG DMA. I think DLI timing and VBI timing is incorrect. I think bugs here are preventing me running much software for now. iii) PIA. Near complete - at least all the features used on the Atari. iv) GTIA. AN0-AN2 and sync support done. Sound and consol buttons. All colour registers and palette done. PMGs partial. GTIA modes not yet done. I'm currently part way through GTIA... v) Memory. The board has 512MB SRAM. This can easily be mapped 130XE style etc with Antic/CPU bank switching. The board also has a large ROM, though this is slower. vi) CPU. Runs at ~1.8MHz by default for compatibility. There is a switch to run the CPU at 25MHz. I hope to run at 40MHz to 50MHz eventually. Currently I'm using T65. I plan to write my own 6502 implementation with illegal instructions, or at a minimum, implement the illegal instructions in T65. I will complete the functionality in the next week or so. Then I will work on debugging and improving reliability. It will pass Acid 800 by the end of August (I'm unable to work on this for much of July...). Then I will work on some break out boards to allow real joysticks to be connected, real sio devices and cartrides + hopefully ECI. As 'stretch goals' I then intend to try a few things like - for now just a brain dump: a) Adding SD card support b) Adding double/quad colour clock modes. c) Scan double for VGA? d) HQ2X e) Quad Antic with GTIA to overlay? f) VBXE?! Is the VHDL or verilog available? Any questions? If anyone is interested in trying out the SOF file for the DE1 then send me PM. I'm keeping the VHDL code private for the time being, at least until I finish the project. If anyone is interested in doing a commercial version and building real hardware let me know please. Mark
  3. Which FPGA system offers the best Atari 8-Bit experience? miST is optimized for the ST, Chamelean for the C64, and minimig for the Amiga though they can all run the Atari 8-bit core. We could really use an Atari 8-Bit specific one with cartridge ports and SIO, but in the meantime which of these (or others) works the best?
  4. Hello all! I've been chatting with some people on this forum and decided to start posting updates here on my project to emulate discrete game chips. There are no true emulations, and only a few simulations have been done so far due to the fact that they don't contain microprocessors and because most of the circuitry is inside a literal black box. Hopefully this will change soon. https://nerdstuffbycole.blogspot.com/2019/03/febuary-progress-update.html
  5. I've been so close to buying a MiST for the past couple of months, but the VGA-only keeps scaring me away. I do have an Acer monitor that has VGA in (as well as DVI and HDMI) but I have no idea if it can support the output from the MiST. Naturally, the Amiga, ST, and C64 are best played in PAL 50Hz mode, but I've read that most VGA screens can only do a minimum of 56 Hz. Does this mean that at best, games would run ever so slightly too fast? Or, if my monitor can only manage 60 Hz, then I'd be stuck playing Amiga and ST in NTSC mode and the games would be totally too fast. I've seen the MiSTer board that has HDMI, but that isn't sold by anyone and I'm not sure if it has real joystick ports which is a big reason I'd like a MiST. Should I just sit out the FPGA scene until there's some kind of HDMI solution? I don't want to shell out the dough for a MiST and end up not being able to use it.
  6. I was exploring Youtube for Colecovision videos and I found a guy from Singapore that mounted a complete Colecovision in FPGA using only Internet resources. It looks like it loads games from a SD memory but not from cartridge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeyHQbIAkw4 By the way, the source code for the project is downloadable from http://colecov.blogspot.sg/
  7. Commodore64 on DE0 Nano/ DE2 FPGA FPGA64 with JiffyDOS and IEC interface (1541, uIEC/SD,...) Visit my blog : http://darfpga.blogspot.fr Look at my vid on You tube : http://youtu.be/Frgl8syf3cg
  8. My references: https://www.heatware.com/u/55794/to Also see my signature for my AA feedback thread. Prices including shipping in the USA. Modded PS1 - The system isn't one I ever had much nostalgia for, though I did have one back in 98/99. I've had it for around 5 months and have played it exactly twice. Since it's in great condition and plays CD-Rs and is region-free for imports, I figure it's better off going to an AA member who will love it. SCPH-9001 modded PlayStation 1 system 1x 3rd-party Dual Shock clone controller. As clones go, it's pretty nice, honestly 1x Sony-branded composite AV cable 1x power cord with the keyed connector to match the system 3x Retro-Bit PS1 memory cards - two are still in the package 1x other third-party PS1 memory card Looking for $70 shipped. SOLD TO SCOOBY105 Everdrive N8 - $95 shipped - comes with 4GB SD card. NO ROMs are included, but the latest firmware is on there. SOLD TO SCOOBY105 RetroUSB AVS - turns out my nostalgia for the NES can be sated by emulation. Got this in the latest batch of preorders in February. Comes with the following: Original mini USB and power adapter HDMI cable Original box with manual OEM Nintendo controllers with Tomee extension cord Asking $160 shipped.
  9. Galaga Midway remake on FPGA DE2 board. VHDL source available. Visit my blog http://darfpga.blogspot.fr
  10. I've not been well recently so have not been very active, I have some time off work to recover so am looking at restarting projects. One project in particular is Robotwon for the Aquarius. As I'm limited by the physical platform I'm considering more efficent ways to develop and test accurately on a low budget. Has any one sucesfully run the FPGA Aquarius that was done some time ago, would it be viable to port to the MiST platform? Finally anyone else still using the Aquarius or continuing development of projects? Barnie
  11. Bagman on DE0 Nano/ DE2 FPGA Visit my blog : http://darfpga.blogspot.fr Look at my vid on You tube : http://youtu.be/wMY_RY1-f6c
  12. From the album: TI99FPGA

    This is the picture of the first successful boot with VDP and GROM support. There is no support for the TMS9901 chip yet, so no user input is possible. But it did render this picture with original ROMS!
  13. First off I want to thank everyone who has helped back and spread the message about this project. When the initial goal was set, we didn't anticipate the larger number of higher reward level backers. After reviewing our finances and updating our projections based on the current backing from the kickstarter, we will be moving forward with Plan B. We are going to move to a standard Pre-order through the CollectorVision website. By doing the direct pre-order through the website, we will be able to maintain the original timelines for the project. This will also allow us to accept Paypal, which a lot of people have asked for and prevented them from backing the kickstarter. The original timelines from the kickstarter are the same with a March timeframe for Early Access and a June/July timeframe for the rest. The pre-order is available now at: https://collectorvision.com/shop/colecovision/collectorvision-phoenix/ https://collectorvisionphoenix.com should also take you there as well If you have any questions feel free to ask. Thanks, Brian
  14. CollectorVision just announce that the ColecoVision FPGA console, the CollectorVision Phoenix, will also be launched with added Atari 2600 core, with more details coming soon. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/283794-collectorvision-phoenix-kickstarter-is-now-live/?p=4138644 See the Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1408938247/collectorvision-phoenix-an-fpga-colecovision-conso
  15. I have written a new core for the Ultimate Cart. It is an implementation, a behavior based clone, of the Project Veronica 65816 cartridge. The 65816 implementation is not cycle exact but seems to run fairly reliably so far. In order to get it running you need to download and flash http://www.64kib.com/veronica/veronica20180414.pofusing the USB blaster. You will need to flash back the standard core to use it as a flash card reader later. You will then need software, I suggest trying the following two: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/164097-project-veronica/?p=3190927:atr file with tests and demos http://atariage.com/forums/topic/164097-project-veronica/?p=3227906:Veronica Basic Many thanks to Zenon/DIAL, Marek Konopka, and Simius for their work on the original. Thanks for Robin Edwards for his work on the Ultimate Cart. Thanks to Robert Finch for his 65816 core. Thanks for Avery Lee for his work on the documentation of the Veronica cart and Veronica Basic. See https://github.com/robinhedwards/UltimateCartfor details about the Ultimate Cart. See http://atariage.com/forums/topic/164097-project-veronica/for details about Project Veronica. See https://github.com/robfinch/Cores/tree/master/FT816for the 65816 core. See http://www.64kib.com/atarixlfpga_svn/trunk/atari_800xl/ultimate_cart/veronica/for my core to tie it all together. Video demos:
  16. Starting a thread to centralize FPGA discussion; let's see whether it catches on. At time of writing there are the following major systems built around FPGA and dedicated cores. Capacity of FPGAs is measured in LEs which allows cramming more or less logic inside. about 9K LE: - RetroUSB AVS, NES/Famicom only, commercial core - ZxUno, Spectrum + about 10 cores, open source cores about 25K LE: - Analogue NT mini, NES/FC + more with jailbroken firmware, commercial cores - MiST FPGA, 40+ cores, open source - Turbo Chameleon 64, open source except c64 core - FPGA Arcade Replay, open source (note: some open cores are the same project ported over to different hardware) Only commerical offerings provide HDMI. The rest has VGA out which can also be configured to run at 15khz RGB (240p). Theae need an upscaler to run on modern LCDs. FPGA Arcade Replay has DVI. FPGAs are good at solving latency/lag issues of software emulation, and use much less power than CPU solutions. But they are not problem free, many cores are not yet 100% perfect (although some seem to be e.g. Atari800 by foft). Also they retain some constraints of original hardware (e.g. save states are hard or impossible to do)
  17. In the last 48 Hours, Steven Howell of applelogic.org posted in comp.sys.apple2 that he is getting ready to make another run of the Carte Blanche II. This will be for the Card Only, no Extras... He is ESTIMATING a price of US$195.00, which would not include shipping... If you missed getting one from before, now is your chance--> Carte Blanche II MarkO
  18. Phoenix FPGA remake on DE2. Sources available and hardware principles explanation. Visit my blog http://darfpga.blogspot.fr
  19. Welll, as I might've previously threatened, I took a few days to make an FPGA Channel F! (Channel FPGA if you will). After the Studio 2 FPGA I did earlier, I thought it'd be fun to try to simulate another underdog console. It took me about 4 days to get this one done, start to finish. Complete ground up everything. F8 CPU, 3853 SRAM interface, and video buffer. I cheated a little on the video buffer. The original buffer isn't terribly NTSC standards compliant. It uses 224 clocks per scanline instead of 228, and there's 264 scanlines instead of 262. Old 1970's TVs were fine with this, but capture cards and modern TVs probably don't take too kindly to that. I ended up with a 228 clock per scanline and 262 scanline frame to make it "NES like", which is good enough for most modern stuff. The audio circuitry was a direct clone, however, so pitch should be accurate. All games run perfectly as far as I can tell, and audio sounds like the various youtube videos I could find. This implemention runs on my standard FPGA board I made, along with all the other systems. Bottom of the post has dirty technical details for those that swing that way. Enough of that, on with the pictures! A good start- the G? selection screen. Built in game, hockey quadradooooooooooodle Alien Invaders Chess, requires extra RAM to function Maze (also needs extra ram, sitting on some IO ports. yep, got that) Pac-man homebrew. (title screen) In game. This game appears to be for a PAL Channel F maybe- the top and bottom get cut off a bit, but the game plays just fine. Technical details: Resource usage by entity: Cyclone EP3C25 FPGA F8 CPU: 723 LEs F3853 SRAM interface: 334 LEs framebuffer: 121 LEs generic SDRAM: 243 LEs This is approximately 6% of the FPGA's resources. (LE = logic element, the "currency" of FPGAs. my chip has 24624 LEs total) The F8 CPU was real "interesting" to simulate. I suspect the designers were under the influence when coming up with that particular bus state / 8 bit bus architecture. There's only a single level hardware stack for calls, no subtracts, jumps and calls corrupt the accumulator (loads PCH of new address into it for temp storage), and the slowness. dreadful slowness. The Channel F's frame buffer is slooow too. You can only write 1 new pixel every scanline, so a maximum of around 16Kpixels/second. This is why clearing the screen or updating too many things is dreadfully slow. Audio was straight forward but had a few wrinkles. If the sound is left on, it will go silent on its own after about 35ms. I noticed in some emulators the sound would continue long past the point it should've been silent because they did not implement this timeout. (It's done on the original hardware using a capacitor). I had a bunch of issues figuring out how the background select bits worked, and the 2102 SRAM on the Maze cart was connected. Some code disassembly helped with that. Overall, this system was extremely easy to simulate. The F8, while weird, ended up being pretty painless to implement and debug. Time taken was as follows: Tuseday - implement F8 CPU verilog, generate the bus state table. Wednesday - implement F3853 SRAM interface doodad (generates the address bus, and controls IO ports). Do some basic CPU testing Thursday - implement frame buffer. Do more CPU testing and debugging. CPU mostly debugged at this point Friday - no work Saturday - Fix final F8 bug (BR7 opcode). Implement XDC instruction- not listed on the datasheet. Demo cart 2 needs it. Add 2102 SRAM doodad. So about four days of work. I used signaltap (a built in "logic analyzer" in the Quartus 2 dev software) extensively to debug the system. Here's what that looks like for the curious. This is showing the various signals in the project. This is what happens at reset. The "Dbus" signal is the F8's data bus and the values on it, RST is reset, and ROMC is the 5 bit ROM control bus. "write" is the F8 write signal. These are a replica of the real chip's pin states. The capture starts when reset goes low to start operation (Yes my signals are all positive polarity even though the real chip's signals might not have been. standardization was used to keep things consistent).
  20. The kickstarter for the CollectorVision Phoenix is now live. This is a 3d printed prototype. Kickstarter versions would be injection molded. The CollectorVision Phoenix rises from the ashes and brings back the classic ColecoVision console for Modern TVs. Featuring 10 built in games, an exclusive game cart Sydney Hunter and the Caverns of Death, and SD cart slot, and more. Help support this project and spread the word by visiting https://www.kickstar...ecovision-conso This is an open source system so other cores will be possible in the future.
  21. The kickstarter for the CollectorVision Phoenix is now live. This is a 3d printed prototype. Kickstarter versions would be injection molded. The CollectorVision Phoenix rises from the ashes and brings back the classic ColecoVision console for Modern TVs. Featuring 10 built in games, an exclusive game cart Sydney Hunter and the Caverns of Death, and SD cart slot, and more. Help support this project and spread the word by visiting https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1408938247/collectorvision-phoenix-an-fpga-colecovision-conso This is an open source system so other cores will be possible in the future.
  22. I just wanted to let everyone know about our new FPGA Colecovision system that is capable of running multiple system cores on kickstarter right now. The system should be capable of supporting the new TI99/4a cores that are being worked on. This system is also being developed by a couple of the guys from these boards (Matthew180, speccery, and a couple others). https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1408938247/collectorvision-phoenix-an-fpga-colecovision-conso We appreciate any support you can give. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. Thanks, Brian
  23. Back when I was developing and testing the HDMI interface for my FPGA based Atari 2600, I noticed some minor, and some major differences in sound between the HDMI digital audio and the analog audio. After giving it some thought, I realized what was causing these differences, and I was able to rework my HDMI interface so that the digital audio sounds exactly like the analog audio. For some reason I felt compelled to document my findings, so I sat down and wrote about it. I was going to put it all down in a post here, but I got carried away, and my paper ended up being eleven pages long. So, instead of creating a monster post, I'll just attach a PDF of my write up. I am also including one of the test programs I wrote while investigating the issue. After reading my article, it will make more sense. This program sets up the audio registers to output a 748 Hz pure tone on one channel, and a 10.6 Hz tone on the other. Hold down the GAME SELECT switch to play the 748 Hz tone, and the GAME RESET switch to play the 10.6 Hz tone. Run this program on Stella, and then on a real 2600, and note the difference. TIA Sounding Off in the Digital Domain.pdf tremolo.bin
  24. I've been working on this project off and on (mostly off) since 2010. It's still a work in progress, but it's far enough along now that I feel comfortable in sharing it. The original goal of the project was to recreate an Atari 2600 in an FPGA, but as things progressed the project goals became more ambitious. What I ended up with is an FPGA based Atari 2600 that uses HDMI instead of RF for its television interface, and USB for a slew of implemented and planned features, all wrapped up in an enclosure that is styled to resemble a Walkman. For those who are interested, I wrote the RIOT and TIA cores in Verilog from scratch, and used the FPGA Arcade branch of Daniel Wallner's "T65" 6502 CPU core. Special thanks to Mike Johnson and Wolfgang Scherr over at FPGA Arcade (www.fpgaarcade.com) for updating the T65 core, and for sharing their work. Features Atari 2600 hardware faithfully recreated in an FPGA. HDMI video/audio output for connecting to modern TVs. Analog audio line output for use when connecting to a DVI monitor that doesn't have sound. Full support for most Atari 2600 peripherals. Enclosure styled to resemble a Walkman for total immersion in nostalgia. Pause button that will freeze the game for those times when you need to take a break. USB connector for upgrading the firmware, and also for a multi-protocol communications bus. Test pattern generator that can be used to aid in adjusting your TV settings. Planned Features Capture screen shots to FLASH, and then transfer to a PC via USB. Capture live game video and audio to a PC via USB. Save and recall machine states. PAL timing and palette. Wish List Complete debugging/monitor environment on PC via USB with flexible user specified triggering for trapping any hardware condition. Other things I have yet to think of. Specifications HDMI Video Formats 640 x 480 @ 59.94 Hz 800 x 600 @ 59.94 Hz 1024 x 768 @ 59.94 Hz 1280 x 720p @ 59.94 Hz 1600 x 1200 @ 59.94 Hz 1920 x 1080p @ 59.94 Hz 1920 x 1200 @ 59.94 Hz Audio Formats48 KHz linear PCM, 2 channels Analog Audio 940 mV P-P into 47K ohms 360 mV P-P into 600 ohms Test Patterns H Ramp V Ramp H grayscale bars V grayscale bars 100% color bars 75% pseudo SMPTE color bars 16 x 16 cross hatch H burst Photos View of the rear side: HDMI and joystick connectors. Another view of the rear side. View of the left side: buttons, USB connector, B&W/Color switch, left and right difficulty switches. Another view of the left side. Top down view of the main PCB. All ready to go. Just press PLAY.
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